They say there's so much we don't know.
There's a call out from organizations dealing with persons with Down Syndrome for an independent agency to investigate the death of Robert Ethan Saylor. The 26-year-old from New Market died in January after struggling with deputies who were trying to remove him from a movie theater. Saylor had a medical emergency and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The State Medical Examiner's Office ruled the death a homicide, due to asphyxia.
The three deputies, who were moonlighting at the Westview Promenade that night, were put on administrative leave. The case was investigated by the Frederick County Grand Jury, which decided not to indict them.
"Unfortunately, we haven't been able to really figure out the details of what happened. The State Medical Examiner ruled it a homicide. The Grand Jury did not return indictments," says David Tolleson, the Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Congress, one of the organizations calling for an independent investigation.
He says an investigation would determine whether the deputies were trained in dealing with people who have Down Syndrome. "It helpful to us in terms of training law enforcement to prevent something like this from happening in the future, to understand exactly what happened, what training the officers did or did not have, and what the precipitating factors were," says Tolleson.
Sheriff Chuck Jenkins says his deputies are trained in how to handle persons with disabilities.
Tolleson says the Saylor died from being improperly restrained, not by the fact that he had Down Syndrome. "I don't think anyone believe that the officers intended to have this outcome. Certainly, we would hope not. There's certainly been no indication that that's the case," he says.
"At the same time, there was no emergency. There was no public safety issue for Ethan to be restrained on his stomach," Tolleson continues.
The Sheriff's Office says Saylor cursed at deputies and use profanity. The management of the theater wanted Saylor removed because he had already seen the movie playing that night, or purchase another ticket.
His family says Saylor had an attendant and his mother was on the way to help calm the situation.
"We think it's important for someone from the outside independently looking in that could speak to what happened, what should have happened, what could have happened, and what we can do in the future to prevent this from happening," says Tolleson.